Archive for the ‘NHL on the Fly’ Category

Set It Up!

October 3, 2009

The NHL is back… and not a moment too soon. And that means my favorite show in the world is back on tv… NHL on the FLY!

For those who don’t know, NHL on the FLY is the nightly highlight show on the NHL Network. But it’s highlights done right… they show each game with a 2 minute highlight package that doesn’t just feature goals and fights… but also great saves, end to end rushes that don’t necessarily end in goals, and impressive defensive plays. And there is no annoying host copy with ridiculous catchphrases. Basically, it’s the anti-Sportscenter. (The ESPN version of Sportscenter for our Canadian readers)

What I’m saying is that you’d never see this on NHL on the FLY.

James has expressed his feelings about this great show before. So when I sat down to watch NHL on the FLY last night… I noticed their once “broom closet” set had a makeover.

And it happens to look vaguely familiar…

I mean… did they use the same set designer? Look at the pointed end table and even the 2 stripes across the front of the set. Or could it be that Hockey Central and NHL on the FLY are actually the exact same set… just with a color change? Is NHL on the FLY Bruce Wayne and Hockey Central Batman? Either way… I don’t care. Hockey is back and I can spend my nights watching highlights over and over and over and over again.

Free Center Ice! Get your free Center Ice!

October 2, 2009

You have may have seen Mike Chen’s recent post at KK about getting free stuff out of DirectTV, in exchange for bitching to them about no longer having Versus, if you are a DTV customer (which I am). Mike Chen got himself free HBO/Starz/Showtime, plus a free HD receiver. He mentioned a friend who got a free NHL Center Ice subscription, and in the comments, you’ll see a lot of “half price off Center Ice” and other such results, as well as a couple of “tough shit, you wimpy customer” type responses from DTV as well.

Well, I’m telling you, the free Center Ice is real. And it wasn’t even hard to get.
Today (Oct 01) at about 5:30 Mountain Time, I called up DTV (1-800-347-3288). By 6, I had free CI for the entire season. I’m sure it depends a bit on luck, in terms of getting the right representatives, but considering the ease with which I got what I wanted, I’d think you could do it pretty easily too.
Just call the number (1-800-347-3288) to get to DTV customer service, and give your info, and ask to speak to a customer service rep. I called during what I imagine is peak time, or close to it, and had maybe a 5-10 minute wait for someone to pick up. When the representative answered, in a perfectly normal American accent (Chen said he got an accent) I politely explained (everything in this process must be done politely!) that I lived in the Denver area, that I was an Avalanche fan (blasphemy!), and that I was bummed out that I couldn’t watch Joe Sakic’s retirement ceremony because it was on Versus.
The representative explained to me that unfortunately Comcast has forced them to pull the channel until DTV relents to their “unreasonable” pricing demands for the channel. I told him about how I really only watch TV for hockey (truth), and that it was pretty disappointing to me to not be able to catch games on Versus when that’s about all I want to watch. I especially stressed that Versus has exclusive rights to most of the games in the playoffs, and how that was the best part. He sympathized, explaining that he is a basketball fan and can definitely understand what I mean about wanting to see the playoffs more than anything. I then mentioned that I had been looking at the DISH Network package, and how I could actually save like 3 dollars a month, plus I’d get Versus, which I really wanted. He asked if I wanted to be handed over to Account Disconnect or something like that, and I was non-committal in explaining that I really liked my service with DTV (truth) and would like to keep it, but it was kind of hard to justify it when I couldn’t get access to the content that I really wanted. He asked me to hold, while he spoke with his supervisor, and I went on hold for about 5 minutes.
When he came back, he offered to give me a 6 month discount of 10 dollars off each month on my bill, totaling $60 in savings. I told him that was a cool offer, but that ultimately, saving 60 dollars wasn’t that great, when I could save a little money as it was, and get Versus besides, if I moved to DISH Network. He apologized and said that was what he could offer me, so I asked him to connect me to Account Disconnect or whatever they called it. If it actually came to it and they were going to let me cancel my account, I was just gonna hang up and try calling again to get a different customer service rep. But he didn’t know that.
The other thing that happened here, after he got back from talking to his supervisor, was that the guy small talked with me, and I went right along with it. He asked whereabouts in Denver I was, and we started chatting, because apparently he was a musician, and last year he was playing in Denver for New Year’s, and was talking about how his mind was blown because he could hang out in the middle of winter in Denver in a t-shirt. I commisserated, discussing how a lot of times in winter I leave a window open because its so nice out, and how I rub it in the faces of all my family back home in Michigan. This went on before the 6 month discount offer, and then again a bit after I asked for Disconnects. Before he gave me to them though, he asked if he could put me on hold and add some notes to my account, to which I agreed.
When he came back, he launched right back into some more small talk, and we chatted for a couple minutes, before he sent me over to Disconnects (he called it something else). Before sending me over though, he told me to be sure to mention to whoever I got on that side to take a look at his notes. When I got over to Disconnects, Customer Retention, whatever it was, I didn’t even have to say a word before I was offered the Center Ice package. I got over there, and this girl immediately launched into apologies and explanations for why I couldn’t get Versus. She went from that, right into discussing how they’re trying to offer remedies for this situation, by offering the NHL Center Ice package free of charge.
I did some non-committal grumbling, and then asked her about the status of the negotiates with Versus, and let her kind of keep going along that spiel before saying that I guess Center Ice would be ok, but continued to stress that I really hoped DTV would work things out with Versus. A couple of minutes later, NHL Center Ice was added to my account.
I think a lot of it has to do with your interactions with the first representative. Especially given the way that representative told me to make sure that I had people look at the notes he took, I’m thinking that representative’s notes are what got me so far, so quickly. Just be very polite (a very hard thing for me) and get into the small talk with them, and you’ll be fine. If they actually attempt to start disconnecting your service, hang up real fast and then try calling again. But it is important to at least make the threat (politely).
(Last night I was watching the Maple Leafs/Canadiens game, and this polar bear mascot for the Maple Leafs is the best mascot ever! During the intermission before the OT, he was in the corner and you could see him putting some sort of curse on Carey Price. Then, during the entire overtime period, you could see him with his head peeking just over the boards on the far corner in the MTL zone, looking back and forth like a dog following a ball. Apparently his curse was all for naught, as the Leafs lost in OT, but it was still pretty awesome. Night 1, and I already love having NHL Center Ice.

In Praise (but also plenty of ridicule) of NHL on the Fly

April 25, 2009

Mr. Plank and I were chatting about the greatness (but also the humorous flaws) of “NHL on the Fly” and it dawned on me that the show needs a love letter. Yet since I cloak myself in a veil of cowardly sarcasm, that love letter will make fun of the show a lot.

For those of you (sad, CHEAP, PATTTTTHEEEETIC) people who aren’t aware of NotF, it is basically the NHL’s answer to the formerly great ESPN show “NFL Primetime.” Actually, scratch that, it’s even better: it’s NFL Primetime if it was on an absurd 10-hour loop.

If you want to know what happened in the NHL each night and you hate the Internet (good for you), then NHL on the Fly will impregnate your heart.

ANYWAY, the most fun part might be making fun of the “broom closet” production values of the show. And what better way to do that then by hurling superficial insults at the show’s hosts? I thought you’d never ask!

Dan Pollard
Not much to say about Dan “DP” Pollard so it’s natural to go to a double penetration joke. I’m cheap.

Brian Duff
Blandly likable, a lot like Dan Pollard. Unfortunately the only goofy pun nickname you could give him is a Simpsons beer reference, not something sexual. Therefore I like Dan Pollard better. This is not a Democracy.

Craig Button
FINALLY, someone I can make fun of. Craig “cute as a” Button is “the Italian guy” on NHL on the Fly. (Note: he might not actually be Italian.)
It’s fun to imagine him when an intern gets him a coffee without his patented “just sugah.”
Button: “You call this coffee? You fucking call this coffee?”
C’mon you know that has to happen at least once a month.

Gary Green
Now we make it to the friendly old man with that could-be-creepy twinkle in his eyes. Green seems like the “cool uncle” who would take his 10-year old nephew to “Porky’s” yet the kid’s parents just can’t seem to object to their son’s too early exposure to showered breasts. Seriously, try to imagine maintaining anger at double G. Not going to happen, Ace.
There are a lot of odd associations that come with Green. For some reason he sort of reminds me of the “Jump to Conclusions Mat” guy from “Office Space.”
OK I’m a bit fucked up.

Larry Murphy
When you look at Larry Murphy, it’s kind of hard to believe he was a hockey player (and a really good one too). Isn’t it?
I get the feeling that Larry will join Bill Clement in the “younger generations will be stunned that they were players” zone. Here’s some Hall of Fame members:

  • Pat Summerall
  • Phil Jackson(even though he’s really fucking tall)
  • John Davidson
  • Lenny Wilkens
  • Larry Brown

There are probably a lot more guys that give you the “no shit, they played?” feeling but I’m drawing a blank.

Dave Reid
Reid – and all the NHL on the Fly guys, really – seems to really know what he’s talking about. If I met him, I would probably drop my sarcastic, difficult shtick in favor of trembling fear.
That is just how I react to a crew cut.

Bill Berg
Berg’s photo is a tough find. It’s really a shame, too, because his “confused” expression is quite a treat. It’s not that he’s bad, either, it just that it seems like he’s perma-perplexed. And that’s one of the things that makes him awesome.

Bill Clement
It’s pretty stunning that Clement is the guy who got shit canned (or at least left) from the Versus studio show being that he’s the only guy I’d willingly watch on TV.
I used to hate him, but couldn’t put my finger on the reason. Then I realized that he looks EXACTLY like my high school Biology teacher.* As my memory of high school fades more with each season, I like Clement more.
Plus, the mustache.

The Detroit Freud Wings is more like it. Ha ha Psychology humor. I suck.

Carrie Milbank
OK, well, she’s not on NHL on the Fly but you deserve a reward for reading this far. God bless you.

* – My high school Biology teacher wouldn’t allow his children to watch TV. Look, TV rots your brain … but if you don’t watch it, you will be smarter than your peers and they will HATE you for it.